Force Against Conviction

Force

Director Haakon Sandøy, Norway

The starting point of the film is the burial of Arnold Juklerød, a man who had been committed to Gaustad Mental Hospital in Norway against his will and who refused to leave the hospital without his original diagnosis being dismissed.

Juklerød had been politically active in a local protest against a school closure. He accused the Ministry of Education of having violated the Norwegian Education Act in closing the local school. He was elected chairman of the committee to preserve the local school against his own vote.

This involvement led to his commitment to Gaustad Mental Hospital.

Arnold Juklerød was kept for years in Gaustad and treated with injections and drugs. Finally he succeeded in proving that the procedure to close the schools had not been authorized by law, that is, the procedure was unlawful. Juklerød had been right all along.

Questions arising here: Can you be locked up without courtroom, judge or jury? Can you legally be kept away from all that is dear to you – love, affection and your own future? This film investigates the “normal” uses of force and control in modern society – how psychiatry deals out drugs and diagnostic labels that stigmatise, segregate and bring about a denial of basic human rights.

Thus the Juklerød case is about fundamental human rights. We cannot forcibly commit people because of their ideas and convictions.